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Ryan Jackson

Ryan Jackson


Assistant Professor

Educational Background:


Contact Information

CallPhone: 435-797-1635
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B.S. – Biology, Cellular Molecular Emphasis, 2005, Utah State University
Minors in Chemistry and Portuguese

Ph.D. – Biochemistry, 2012, Utah State University

Postdoctoral ­– 2012-2014, Montana State University

NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow – 2014-2016, Montana State University


The Jackson Lab uses biophysical methods and in vivo assays to investigate the structure and function of molecular machines that act on nucleic acid.  Currently we are using microbiological, biochemical, and structural techniques to determine the biological function and mechanisms of action of Type IV CRISPR systems.  We are also interested in understanding the role of specialized non-coding RNAs (e.g. circular RNAs) in eukaryotic systems, and aim to use CRISPR technologies to explore their function.  Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdocs interested in conducting research in the Jackson Lab are encouraged to email me directly.  Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, veterans, and members of the LBGTQ+ community are especially encouraged to apply.

Selected Recent Publications

Michelle Luo, Ryan N Jackson, Steven R Denny, Monika Tokmina-Lukaszewska, Kenneth R Maksimchuck, Wayne Lin, Brian Bothner, Blake Wiedenheft, Chase Beisel (2016). The CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex in Escherichia coli accommodates extended RNA spacers. Nucleic Acids Research, DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkw421

Paul B G van Erp*, Ryan N Jackson*, Joshua Carter*, Sarah M Golden, Scott Bailey, Blake Wiedenheft (2015). DNA target recognition by the CRISPR-RNA guided surveillance complex from Escherichia coli. Nucleic Acids Research, 43, 8381-91 *co-first author (This article was featured on the cover.)

Ryan N Jackson, Airlie J McCoy, Thomas C Terwilliger, Randy J Read, Blake Wiedenheft (2015). X-ray structure determination using low-resolution electron microscopy maps for molecular replacement. Nature Protocols, 10, 1275-84. (This protocol was featured on the cover.)

Ryan N Jackson and Blake Wiedenheft (2015). A conserved structural chassis for mounting versatile CRISPR RNA-guided immune responses. Molecular Cell, 58, 722-728.

Lacy Taylor*, Ryan N Jackson*, Megi Rexhepaj,A Alejandra Klauer, Lindsey K Lott, Ambro van Hoof and Sean J Johnson (2014). Conserved features in the Mtr4 ratchet helix regulate RNA helicase activity. Nucleic Acids Research, 42, 13861-13872. *co-first author

Ryan N Jackson, Sarah M Golden, Paul B G van Erp, Joshua Carter, Edze R Westra, Stan J J Brouns, John van der Oost, Thomas C Terwilliger, Randy J Read, Blake Wiedenheft (2014) Crystal structure of the CRISPR RNA-guided surveillance complex from Escherichia coli. Science, 345, 1473-1479.

(This Research Article was featured on the cover, highlighted in a Science Perspective and on the NIH website, recognized by the Faculty of 1000 and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, and was featured as “molecule of the month” by the PDB.)

John van der Oost, Edze R Westra, Ryan N Jackson, Blake Wiedenheft (2014) Unraveling the structural and mechanistic basis of CRISPR-Cas systems. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 12, 479-492.

Ryan N Jackson, Matthew Lavin, Blake Wiedenheft (2014). Fitting CRISPR-associated Cas3 into the Helicase Family Tree. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 24, 106-114. (This review was featured on the cover.)

Ezde R Westra, Ekaterina Semenova, Kirill A Datensko, Ryan N Jackson, Blake Wiedenheft, Konstantin Severinov, Stan J J Brouns (2013). Type I-E CRISPR-Cas Systems Discriminate Target from Non-Target DNA through Base Pairing-Independent PAM Recognition. PLoS Genetics, 9, e1003742

Sean J Johnson and Ryan N Jackson (2012). Ski2-like RNA helicase structures: Common themes and complex assemblies. RNA Biology, 10, 1-12.

Ryan N Jackson, A Alejandra Klauer, Bradley J Hintze, Howard Robinson, Ambro van Hoof and Sean J Johnson (2010). The crystal structure of Mtr4 reveals